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Spike

Originally published on Facebook on 03/23/2019


I’m writing this now because I won’t be able to later.


Quick backstory - I got my cat Minuit for my 16th birthday. He was a faithful companion and a great snuggler. He slept with me almost every night - the only exceptions being when I wasn’t home. He died shortly after turning 15 and I was pretty devastated. He was sort of like my first born.


Maybe 6 months later, Widget came into my life. She was a cute cat but her snuggle time was limited to maybe 15 minutes once a month and was only on her terms. Although I loved her, I missed having an affectionate cat.


Then in June 2003, I went to visit Susie Chaplin Miller and see Prisoner of Azkaban. She had two cats that clearly loved her and were super affectionate - to her. I really missed that so when I got home I decided it was time for me to get Widget a playmate.


At the time I worked around the corner from Operation Kindness, a no kill animal shelter. So one lunch break I went in and said I was looking for a snuggler but I did not want a black cat. I knew there would be inevitable comparisons to Minuit. And the woman behind the counter took me to meet Sky.


First off, Sky was black. I am not a cat racist but Minuit was very special to me and he was black and I just didn’t want to be reminded of him. But she insisted. So I sat down and Sky was brought to me. He sat in my lap and purred for a few minutes then decided to get up and explore. So I said, “Sky, I am looking for a lap kitty”. And I swear to you that cat turned around and sat in my lap and looked up at me. After a little more petting time he decided to get up and explore again and again I said “where’s my lap kitty?” and that cat came back and sat in my lap and once again looked up at me. Clearly he was my cat now.


I couldn’t keep the name Sky. First, I thought it was a terrible name. Second, it was eerily similar to Minuit (which is French for midnight). I wanted a Harry Potter name because surprise I am a Harry Potter nerd - but none of them fit for me. But I always loved that Hagrid’s ferocious, giant 3 headed dog was named Fluffy. So I thought why not name this sweet little kitty Spike? Plus he was my favorite vampire from Buffy and my last name at the time was Lee so now I had a black cat named Spike Lee and I just thought that was funny.


Spike has been one of the best pets I have ever had. He has indeed been a snuggler all his life. He loves to give kisses (head bops) - when you make a kissing sound but also unsolicited. If I am sitting still he is probably in my lap. He has one of the loudest purrs I have ever heard. He has his quirks that can be annoying but I love him dearly.


The last year or so we’ve been calling him senile. He seemed to sometimes get lost in the house and would cry until we would call out to him. It had actually gotten a lot worse but he seems to like the apartment - he’s not as vocal as he was and he doesn’t seem to get lost.


He’s 16 now. That’s a long life for a cat. I feel very lucky he talked me into taking him home that day. He saw me through my first divorce and now I need him through my second. I hope I have given him at least a 10th of the joy and love he has given me. I’ve been afraid to take him to the vet ever since I realized he was drinking so much water - and he’s lost 7 pounds. I knew it wasn’t going to be good news. I couldn’t afford extraordinary measures right now even if the vet did recommend it (which she didn’t due to his age). (Side note: her name is Dr. Doolittle so you know she is good).


I told her I need 6 months. I simply cannot take another loss right now. So we have switched his food - which as a bonus now makes his poop exceptionally foul smelling - and will monitor him closely. I do not want him to suffer...as much as I would love him to stick around as long as possible, I will make the decision if/when it needs to be made.


So that’s Spike’s story. He’s been one of the great loves of my life and I dread the day when I have to say goodbye. I know it is coming up all too soon.


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